Most of us live by a motto, whether it’s one we’re taught or one we’ve developed over time. For example, a close friend of mine lives by her two self-created rules of “Don’t be a jerk” and “Be a homie,” which I wish I had come up with first. However, with all the great quotes out there, it’s difficult to embrace just one as your day-to-day mantra. Here are 10 quotes you should consider adopting in your everyday life:
1. “You have not lived today until you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.”—John Bunyan
Oftentimes we get so caught up in the give-and-take process of life that we forget the true spirit of generosity—one in which we give without the expectation of receiving. Nonprofit volunteering is a great way of carrying out this phrase in your daily life.
2. “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”—Harvey MacKay
This one is a personal favorite of mine, which I happen to have taped to my bedroom wall. It’s wordy, but the message is simple: live your best life now. Every day is a new day and the present moment is no different. Don’t waste it on something or someone who hinders you from reaching your fullest potential.
3. 1 Corinthians 13
This is another favorite of mine. Again, it’s a pretty lengthy quote, but it speaks to the true nature of love and the way we should love others as well as ourselves. After all, love isn’t all about romance; it’s about seeking betterment in your personal growth and life.
4. “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”—Virginia Woolf
This goes back to my friend’s motto of “Don’t be a jerk.” If you’re not honest with others about yourself, you have no business meddling in their lives, especially if your intention is to spread lies. That’s just plain cruel.
5. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou
It’s not your accomplishments that shape how others see you. It’s how they’ve connected with you on an emotional level. That’s not to say you have to make a grand gesture of your feelings to everyone in your life each day. It’s just to say something as small as a smile goes a long way, especially if someone’s had a bad morning.
6. “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”—André Gide
Sometimes all we want to do is please everyone around us, but it’s not worth it if you have to risk your own identity to do so. Be yourself and be true to your convictions. If people dislike you for that, let them. It’s better than pretending to be someone you’re not.
7. “We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.”—John Lennon
It goes hand-in-hand with the previous quote. In order to love others and live a full life, you have to wholeheartedly embrace every part of yourself—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. Otherwise, you’ll be doing yourself and others a disservice.
8. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”— attributed to Mahatma Gandhi
If you want something to change, the first step is by working to change it yourself. We can dare to dream, yes, but we can dare to do, too. Don’t let the thought of failure stop you from the acquisition of success.
9. “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”—Bob Marley
We’d all like to think the best of people in our lives, or at least I do, but it’s inevitable that they will all let us down in some way or another. They’re only human, after all. It’s just a matter of distinguishing the ones worth the fight and the ones worth the flight.
10. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”— Steve Kloves (otherwise known as Albus Dumbledore)
You can’t go wrong by adopting a Harry Potter phrase into your life, especially if it’s coming from the wisest headmaster in fantasy fiction. I’ve found this quote to be incredibly true to my life. With every bad thing that happens, there is usually some good to come out of it as long as you choose to see it that way. Happiness is a choice, people, and positivity is most certainly a virtue.
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